Culinary Skills, Kills, and Thrills

December 12, 2009

OddChef’s Rum Cake

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 11:45 pm

So, I read up on a lot of recipes for a decent rum cake and found many variations to it. I decided to add my own little variation and make this one. It did come out real good. 🙂

Take a look:

Ingredients
All purpose flour – 1 cup
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 teaspoon
Eggs – 3 to 4
Cooking oil – 1/2 cup
Dark rum – 1/2 cup
Water – 1/2 cup
Shaved almonds – 1/4 cup
Butter or substitute – 1/4 cup
Unsulphered Molasses – 1/4 cup

Pre-baking Preparation
Mix the flour, sugar, and baking powder and keep aside.

Beat the eggs, oil, rum, and water until it turns fluffy.

Now, in a separate dish, mix the butter substitute and molasses into a paste.

Now, mix the egg mixture into the flour, add the almonds and butter mixture. Gradually add the egg mixture so that you dont have lumps in the batter. Mix well and make sure it has a creamy consistency.

How to Bake
Set the oven to 325F for 40 minutes. Grease the baking pans and dust it with flour. Line the base of the pans with some almond shavings.

Now pour the batter into the pans and bake for 40 minutes. You can also test if the cake is done by inserting a toothpick into the center. Check if the toothpick comes out clean. Then you know it’s done. 🙂

When the cake is ready and out of the oven, brush it with some rum to keep it moist. Store the cakes in an air-tight container. Dab some rum on the cakes on a weekly basis. This helps in keeping them moist. You can also glaze the cake with the sugar-rum syrup.

– OddChef

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November 2, 2009

Fresh Tomato Salsa

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 12:34 am

Norma taught me how to make this easy Mexican dish. There are many types of Salsas that Mexicans use along with their main dishes. This one is the easiest and, in my opinion, the yummiest.

Ingredients
2-3 tomatoes diced
1/2 onion diced
2-3 jalapeño pepper finely diced
lime juice
chopped cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional: oregano and or cumin to taste
How to Make
Chop all these ingredients and mix using a fork. It is important to use a fork and not your hands because the jalapeno can be hot. Add additional chillies if you want to make it extra hot. However, if the chilies make the salsa too hot, add some more chopped tomato. Combine the spices and let sit for an hour for the flavors to combine.
Serve with tortilla chips.

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PS: I did not click this picture.

– OddChef

October 25, 2009

Aalu Shalgam

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 9:59 pm

Yet another turnip dish 🙂

Ingredients

Diced turnips
Diced potatoes
Diced tomatoes
Chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies
Turmeric, red chilly powder, mustard seeds, salt
Chopped cilantro

Directions

Heat some oil in a pan and splinter the mustard seeds. Now add onions, ginger, and garlic and saute it. Add the masalas when the onion turns translucent.  Fry the masalas and then add tomatoes and cook. Finally, add the potatoes and turnips, salt, and some water. Cook in low flame for 20 minutes. Stir occasionally. Garnish with cilantro.

Serve this curry with rice or roti.

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– OddChef

Palak Paneer

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:57 pm

I tried my hand at a paneer dish after ages. I am not happy with the paneer you get here. It is not as soft as what we used to eat in Delhi. But nonetheless, it did turn out pretty good. Here’s what I did:

Pre-Work

Blend baby spinach leaves with tomatoes and onions. Make it a thick paste. Add some saunf and green chillies as well.
Chop some onions, ginger, garlic and set aside.
If the paneer was in deep freeze, defrost it and dice  it. Put these pieces into some boiling water and add salt. Allow it to stand for ten minutes, then drain.

Masalas Needed

Turmerics, Red Chilly Powder, Dhaniya Powder, Garam Masala, Jeera

What To Do

Heat some oil in a kadai and add the jeera into it.  Now add the onions, ginger, and garlic and fry until it turns golden brown. Add the spices and fry for a few minutes. Consider it done when oil droplets begin to seep out of the masalas. Pour the deep green palak paste that was prepared earlier. Cook for a  few minutes. Add the paneer pieces to this mixture. Add salt to taste. Cook this dish until the green color becomes a dull brown shade. Taste and check if the gravy has gotten rid of its raw leafy taste or not. Cook in low flame for as long as you deem fit.

Serve palak paneer with roti and salad.

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– OddChef

Crispy Turnip with Oregano

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:44 pm

Shalgam. Not everyone likes this vegetable because it can turn out to be pretty pungent if not cooked well. I came up with a simple recipe using turnips. Read on…

Clean and slice turnips to thin pieces. Heat some oil in a pan and add jeera and ajwain into it. Now fry the turnip slices in this mixture.

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Add finely chopped dhaniya leaves and a generous amount of oregano flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Continue cooking this until the slices are well cooked and crispy. Serve as a side dish in a main meal. 🙂

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– OddChef

Sambar : MasterChef Style

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 8:31 pm

I think it looks yummy!

photo

– MasterChef

October 17, 2009

Kheer

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 6:45 pm

For Diwali, I tried out this recipe. Yummy!
There are two ways to have this… thick and chilled or thin and warm.

Ingredients
3 – 4 cups of whole milk, diluted with 1 – 2 cups of water (The proportion of water will determine the thickness of the Kheer.)
1 cup rice
1 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon of dry roasted cashew nut pieces. (Cashew nuts can be substituted with almonds or pistachio)
1 teaspoon finely powdered elaichi seeds

Method
– Boil the rice in the milk on a medium flame until the rice is cooked.

– Make sure you stir frequently; otherwise your milk may burn at the bottom of the vessel.

– Add the condensed milk, sugar, raisins, and nuts. Stir till the sugar dissolves and the mixture thickens.

– Add the cardamom and serve hot.

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MasterChef will have this the way he likes it — thick and chilled. 🙂

– OddChef

October 15, 2009

Chicken Curry

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 11:23 pm

I am posting this recipe on a special request from  Sunshine Girl.

Ingredients:

Nicely cleaned and diced chicken
Chopped onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, tomatoes, cilantro, curry leaves
Turmeric, red chilly powder, corriander powder (twice of red chilly powder), garam masala

How to Make:

Heat the kadhai and pour some oil. Splinter some mustard seed. Add curry leaves, chopped ginger and garlic. Fry till it turns light golden. Then add onions and greeen chillies to it. When the onion turned golden-brown in color, add turmeric, red chilly powder, and corriander powder. Mix really well and fry the masalas. When oil droplets start to ooze out of this mixture, add tomatoes to it. Cook for a few minutes before adding the chicken into the kadhai. Mix very well. Add garam masala and salt. Cook for a few minutes. When the water begins to come out of the chicken, judge how much of gravy you would need, and add water. Cook with a closed lid and low flame.

When the curry is done, add cilantro leaves to it, mix and serve with rice or roti. 🙂

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This is how I make chicken curry.
-OddChef

October 14, 2009

SunshineGurl’s Tangy Street Rice

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 10:10 pm

Thank you for the recipe, SunshineGurl!

Ingredients:

1. Boiled rice
2. Diced veggies: carrots, beans, corn, peas, innovate. 🙂
3. Spices: Mustard seeds, red chili powder, paav bhaji masala (if unavailable, use sambar masala)
4. Lemon!
5. Cooking oil
6. Green chili, ginger, garlic.
7. Tomatoes and onion, chopped.

1. Boiled rice
2. Diced veggies: carrots, beans, corn, peas, innovate. 🙂
3. Spices: Mustard seeds, red chili powder, paav bhaji masala (if unavailable, use sambar masala)
4. Lemon!
5. Cooking oil
6. Green chili, ginger, garlic.
7. Tomatoes and onion, chopped.

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Chef’s Notes: Apart from these ingredients, I improvised and used raisins, nuts, and Arabic Gum.

Steps:

1. In a pan, heat some cooking oil. Add mustard seeds and let them splinter.

2. Add chopped onions and tomatoes, fry until done. Add ginger and garlic.

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3. Add diced veggies and sprinkle all spices. Saute the veggies.

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4. When done, add the boiled rice to the pan. Add green chili. Mix well.

5. Squeeze lemon and mix well again. Voila.

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– OddChef

October 10, 2009

The poor, underrated Arbi

Filed under: Uncategorized — 2BigChefs @ 5:01 pm

Arbi, also known by various aliases as arvi and taro and colacassia, is a root vegetable. I know of a lot of people who are not fond of this little vegetable. In fact, if cooked well, it is really delicious. MasterChef is an Arbi-hater. I argued with him the other day and told him it can be really tasty if prepared well.

Well, here are two methods of making Arbi according to OddChef.

Method One – Dry

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This is relatively simple to make.

Boil, peel and dice Arbi into medium-sized pieces. Chop onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Heat some oil in a pan, splinter jeera, and golden fry the chopped vegetables. To this, add turmeric and salt. Finally add the boiled Arbi into the pan and mix well. If the base of the pan gets sticky, add a little water. Cook for 5 minutes.

Serve with rice or rotis.

Method Two – Curry

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Boil, peel and dice Arbi into medium-sized pieces. Loosen up some yogurt with warm water and set aside. Chop onions, ginger, garlic, and green chillies. Heat some oil in a pan, splinter mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Golden fry the chopped vegetables. Add the boiled Arbi pieces into the pan. To this, add turmeric and salt. Cook for a few minutes. Now, lower the flame to the simmer mode. Finally add the yogurt mixture into the pan and stir. This is how Arbi is cooked in South India. In Kerala, coconut paste is also added to this mixture.

Serve with freshly cooked rice and pappadum!

Try these two recipes and let me know if Arbi is a tasty veggie or not.

-OddChef

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